Questionable case leak may point to Ion-X glass on back of Apple's 'iPhone 7s'

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2017
An image leaked on Wednesday appears to depict rear shells for an upcoming iPhone, using Ion-X glass -- the same material found in the displays of non-sapphire Apple Watches.




The phone is identified only as "N79" in a sheet behind the shells, which were shared on Slashleaks. The NXX format is known to be used in iPhone codenames.

While the person who submitted the image suggested the parts are for an updated iPhone SE, that's unlikely. Apple refreshed the SE in March -- boosting storage options to 32 and 128 gigabytes -- and the company is only thought to be working on three phones for this fall, including the OLED-based "iPhone 8" and two LCD-based "iPhone 7s" models. A glass back would be consistent with some rumors about those products.

It could be that the shells are for the 4.7-inch "7s," since they lack holes for a second camera lens, something expected on both the 5.8-inch "iPhone 8" and 5.5-inch "7s Plus." Notably there doesn't appear to be a camera bump, something found on every iPhone since the iPhone 6.

The leak lacks any measurements, so it's impossible to say what the exact size of the part is based on the picture. Apple's iPhone SE is its smallest handset, with a screen that measures 4 inches diagonally.

Another factor raising doubts on the leak's authenticity is that on one of the shells, the cutout for the Apple logo is misaligned. If not a fake, it could be that the part is a factory reject.

The "iPhone 7s" line is expected to share some of the features of the "iPhone 8" -- like wireless charging, faster wired charging, and/or an "A11" processor -- but hold on to some iPhone 7 technologies, including not just LCD but the use of a physical home button instead of a virtual one. "7s" models will likely ship in September, possibly as much as a month or more before the "iPhone 8."

Though the rear shell clearly says "iPhone," it is worth noting that Apple's iPod touch -- which, like the iPhone SE, features a 4-inch display -- has not been updated since July of 2015. While the iOS media player lineup is largely seen as outgoing, the most recent updates have arrived every two years, with the last refresh prior to 2015 arriving in May of 2013.

Considering Slashleaks suggested the leaked part is for a 4-inch device, an iPhone SE update is not expected anytime soon, and the component sports a flat back without a protruding camera lens, the timing of a potential iPod touch refresh may not be coincidental.

Of course, since the part specifically says "iPhone," such idle speculation may ultimately prove meaningless -- especially if the leaked part is, in fact, a forgery. Regardless, Wednesday's leak is curious given the state of upcoming Apple product rumors, and is presented by AppleInsider for the purposes of discussion.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member

    Personally I do not think it makes sense to make the back of the phone glass, it will just add to the overall thickness of the phone. The Battery and electronics dictate the internal thickness, and the outside if the metal shell and the display. You have to ask yourself why would apple make the battery thinner which mean less battery life just to add the thickness of the glass on the outside. We already know the camera is bigger than what battery and electronic.

    The only way this makes sense is if the new phone has an overall thickness greater than the current 6 and 7 models. Not to say this is bad and could be what Apple is doing. Making it a little thicker is not a bigger issue except for those who keep count and only buy things if they are faster, more or and in a smaller package.

    We will all have to wait and see what it finally looks like and what all they crammed into the device. Then it is up to all those willing to pony up the money to buy it.

  • Reply 2 of 12
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,897member
    I hope Apple doesn't make the phone any thinner. It will get so thin it will make it hard to handle as a phone. The iPhone 5 was a great thickness in my opinion. 
  • Reply 3 of 12
    tshapitshapi Posts: 292member
    First of all this is probably fake.

    but if it wasn't...
    maestro64 said:

    Personally I do not think it makes sense to make the back of the phone glass, it will just add to the overall thickness of the phone. The Battery and electronics dictate the internal thickness, and the outside if the metal shell and the display. You have to ask yourself why would apple make the battery thinner which mean less battery life just to add the thickness of the glass on the outside. We already know the camera is bigger than what battery and electronic.

    The only way this makes sense is if the new phone has an overall thickness greater than the current 6 and 7 models. Not to say this is bad and could be what Apple is doing. Making it a little thicker is not a bigger issue except for those who keep count and only buy things if they are faster, more or and in a smaller package.

    We will all have to wait and see what it finally looks like and what all they crammed into the device. Then it is up to all those willing to pony up the money to buy it.

    You forgot to consider that Apple is rumored to include wireless charging. If this is true they would probably need glass backs.

    I also don't see Apple redesigning one phone and not the others.  

    This would make sense why Apple allegedly thinned its battery. So it can add wireless charging with a glass back. 
    macxpress
  • Reply 4 of 12
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,853member
    The back curved glass is similar to Samsung's s8.
    I hope this is a fake
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,797member
    Glass back may also help with signal reception. Put a battery case on your iPhone and you always get some signal loss.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    I know like three people who broke the back of their 4/4s. I know no one who broke the aluminium.
    edited May 2017 edred
  • Reply 7 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,620member
    Glass back may also help with signal reception. Put a battery case on your iPhone and you always get some signal loss.
    Apple smart battery case has antenna booster.
    edred
  • Reply 8 of 12
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,797member
    ireland said:
    Glass back may also help with signal reception. Put a battery case on your iPhone and you always get some signal loss.
    Apple smart battery case has antenna booster.
    It has also that camel-shaped bizarre design, to not cover antenna openings with battery substrate.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 666member
    ireland said:
    I know like three people who broke the back of their 4/4s. I know no one who broke the aluminium.
    The back of the 4s was very cheap and simple to replace.  I replaced mine with a clear back that I liked a great deal.  Though it was easy to break the back, most often people broke the screens, just as they do with the aluminum backed models.  I guess it was the open-faced sandwich principle.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 10 of 12
    repressthisrepressthis Posts: 398member
    Technically, the upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone is a Special Edition (SE).
  • Reply 11 of 12
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,975member
    Technically, the upcoming 10th anniversary iPhone is a Special Edition (SE).
    Says who?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,994member
    ireland said:
    I know like three people who broke the back of their 4/4s. I know no one who broke the aluminium.
    Sure let's play anecdotes -- I don't know anyone who broke their iphone 4 back panels. But I do know from changing a battery that it took 2 mins to replace the back panel on a 4. 
    watto_cobrafastasleep
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